Grace on Fire

The Bible says to “Train up a child in the way he/she should go, even when old they will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:15) How often this passage has been misused to control, conform and confine children to the dictates of those over them. In a youth culture that has gone perverse and promiscuously astray it seems we should use such “training” to turn the tide in favor of the establishment.

The word train in the Hebrew is chanak and means to narrow, initiate, teach, dedicate. Interestingly, it gives a comparison to another word from the same root chanaq which means to throttle, choke to death, hang or strangle. Too often a heavy hand is used to bring correction resulting in rebellion. The other extreme of permissiveness simply causes the children to hang themselves with the consequences of their own sin.

There is a better way. To train-up indicates a direction—upward. That upward direction is at the initiative of the creator God who has equipped every child with the gifts to excel within themselves even when faced with disabilities. It is God’s intention for those who are given the responsibility of training up a child in the way he/she should go that they do so neither within restrictiveness or permissiveness that results in a child’s potential being choked to death, hung or strangled.

To train in the upward direction of maximizing a child’s potential means to look within that child and discover just what their potential is; and, then to help them in the discovery themselves. This can be expressed in a story from China. There was an old sage who always bowed in reverence to every child he walked passed but never bowed to those his age or older. One day a friend asked him, “Why do you always bow to the children but never to me?” to which he responded, “You I know but I do not yet know who they will become.” To be so wise requires a humility often lacking in the West. We need to believe God has given every child potential for excellence. We need to pray we will have the eyes to see it and to share in their journey of discovery. In addition, we need to be open to unique opportunities that will contribute to their upward training as well.

One such opportunity is a youth music event Grace on Fire at Central Christian Church, 421 Mount Vernon, Marion, Ohio. It is to be held in the church sanctuary, Saturday evening, October 22nd, beginning at 7:00 p.m. We are inviting the youth of Marion and surrounding area to come and participate. Blessedly Broken’s Pat Pierce, Alex Purtell of R.M.P. Productions and rapper Mark Grevious of Prophocey (check him out on are the headliners. Get out the word, tell the kids and join the crowd as we pack the place out and Rock the vibe.

We’re ready are U?

Pastor Bud
Central Christian Church

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